Brazil - The challenge of sanctity of everyday life: "The Church contains much more precious treasures ... Which remain invisible"

07 January 2019

(ANS - Brasilia) - At the end of each year, since the time of Don Bosco, the Rector Major of the Salesians performs a ritual, the delivery of the “Strenna” to the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, that is, a text that develops the theme that will guide the reflections and actions of the Salesian Family in the following year. The Strenna is always a challenge. It is rooted in Salesian spirituality and touches on issues of society and of the Church of today. For this 2019 the Strenna presents a very current and valid challenge: "Holiness for you too".

by Ana Cosenza

"Holiness is a gift, a commandment and a mission. Holiness or sainthood is for everyone, because it corresponds to God's fundamental plan for us. Being a saint is not alienating oneself or moving away from one's brothers, but living in an intense (and sometimes painful) experience of communion," explains the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime. "Holiness has nothing to do with a theory ... But rather it has some characteristics of the life of Jesus that are near, concrete, beautiful, exciting for everyone, to which perhaps people never think or think little about."

Holiness, that is, must be lived in one's daily life, as many men and women have done throughout history, even if only some of them have been recognized as saints by the Church.

This is a key and fundamental point of the Strenna 2019. This message of the Rector Major concerns the importance of being saints, not of being declared saints. "The canonized saints are like the facade of the church; but the church contains many more precious treasures within it, which however remain invisible." This inner part, less visible, is that which the Strenna wants to invite you to discover.

Thus the Strenna for 2019 speaks of the need to be saints with young people. In a certain sense, it is quite logical that Domenico Savio was the first to be canonized after Don Bosco: the fruits of the holiness of the Salesians are the young saints, and the holiness of the young is in a sense the indicator of the sanctity of the members of the Salesian Family.

The text of the Strenna reiterates that holiness does not remove the person from his or her duties or interests. Holiness is not just a goal for some. It is a full life, a life lived in full, according to the plan and gift of God. It is therefore a "journey of profound humanization, like every authentic spiritual experience."

Holiness is not for "the best" or "the most prepared", because "holiness is participation in the life of God."


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

This site also uses third-party cookies to improve user experience and for statistical purposes. By scrolling through this page or by clicking on any of its elements, you consent to the use of cookies. To learn more or to opt out, click "Further Information".